Bay Journal

Chesapeake Notebook

News, notes and observations from the Bay Journal staff.

Thankful for the turkey

We almost lost the wild turkeys. But they're back.

Rona Kobell

Nutrient management changes may overstate phosphorus benefit

The state-federal Bay Program will soon give states working to meet their water improvement plan goals greater nutrient reduction credits for farms that implement nutrient management plans. But scientists and environmentalists worry that the credits overstate the amount of phosphorus reductions the plans will achieve.

Karl Blankenship
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Baltimore: take a lesson from Chicago

A few months ago, a coalition of state and federal agencies brought Arnold Randall to a wildlife refuge along the Baltimore/Washington corridor to hear how he helped make Chicago greener.

Randall is president of a group called the Chicago Wilderness, which formed to make sure all the land-conservation groups and local governments in the region were talking to each other. Baltimore is modeling its efforts after that work, which it is calling the Baltimore Wilderness.

Randall is also president of the Cook County Forest Preserve, which is part of the largest such network in the country.

  The Chicago Wilderness sounded good, but it was a bit hard to tell what Randall’s group had actually done. Maybe more communication, more signage, more awareness that these preserves were available for camping and hiking so that outdoor-oriented Chicagoans didn’t have to spend every weekend in Wisconsin? Still, it felt like more of a blueprint than something one could actually get lost in.

Rona Kobell

Picture This

Tips from veteran Chesapeake Bay photographer Dave Harp about how to capture the perfect images from your outdoor travels.

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Pond paddle provides lovely setting for photos

I always try to get out and make some photos on the solstices and equinoxes,  and an assignment to illustrate a story about Trap Pond allowed me to chase the morning light there a few hours after this year’s Autumnal equinox.   It’s an amazingly beautiful patch of wild Delaware near Laurel and will be featured in the November issue of the Bay Journal.   The pond, created in the 18th century to power a saw mill to convert the trees into board feet of lumber,  is the epicenter of the northern most stand of bald cypress trees in the United States.   The relatively young trees in the middle of the pond were planted in the 1930’s when the water level  was drawn down to allow the trees to grow.    Once they’re heads are above the water they seem to do fine in an aquatic environment.  Be sure to look for a more complete story about Trap Pond State Park by Tom Horton in the November issue of the Bay Journal.

David Harp
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Order of Chaos

Photographers go to great lengths to make order out of chaos. A good photograph has a strong point of view, clean lines, generally good composition. In this case chaos IS the point. Anyone who has ever witnessed a flock of snow geese erupt into flight knows that the sight and sounds of those birds says chaos to the extreme.    This flock was photographed with a 200mm lens, 2x tele extender, Olympus E-5 camera, 1250/sec. @ f5.6. ISO 200. The scene was made at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge just after sunrise, thin cloud cover.

David Harp
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January morning along the Choptank River

It was a very cold pre dawn January morning along the Choptank River.   Out to capture some winter scenes (since we didn't really have winter last year). I found this ice encrusted plant and made a photo in the early morning light.    Wanting more drama in the photo I waited until the rising sun barely kissed it and made another exposure. Sometimes is pays to wait for the light.Both photographs were made with an Olympus E-5, 12-60mm lens at 21mm.  

David Harp

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